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Marriage Equality

WATCH: A Field Guide for Identifying Sneaky, Homophobic Laws

WATCH: A Field Guide for Identifying Sneaky, Homophobic Laws


Nice civil rights you've got there. Sure would be a shame if something happened to them.

While LGBT Americans are busy celebrating the spread of marriage equality, homophobic lawmakers have yet another trick up their sleeve. A new trend hitting legislatures across the country: sneaky laws that erode civil rights for LGBT citzens without ever actually mentioning LGBT people, or even same-sex marriage.

It's a clever strategic move, since it would be unconstitutional to call out gays and lesbians specifically in a law that revokes civil rights. So anti-equality politicians have figured out how to cleverly word new laws that still manage to target sexual orientation for discrimination.

Some of these proposed new laws -- like the one recently enacted in Arkansas -- would make it against the law for towns to add new groups to nondiscrimination policies. Others follow Mississippi's lead, and would allow businesses and government employees to pick and choose which members of the public they'd serve. And some -- like a bill passed last month in the North Carolina Senate -- would even require public employees to discriminate against same-sex couples.

What's so sneaky about these laws is that they look perfectly reasonable, since they never actually mention who the target is -- instead, they claim to protect "religious liberty" or "sincerely held religious beliefs."

Here's a quick, fun field guide to help you identify these dangerous new laws, with maps to show you if the hate has migrated to your state yet:

And remember to be on the lookout for more homophobic backlash to marriage equality. The fight's not over yet.

30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff & Wayne Brady

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Matt Baume